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Agencies Step Up Efforts To Fight Water Hyacinth In The Delta

Rich Ibarra / Capital Public Radio

Rich Ibarra / Capital Public Radio

The hotter summer weather is again fostering the spread of water hyacinth in the Delta this year. State and local agencies are ramping up the fight against the invasive plant.

Fishermen are taking their boat out of the water at Buckley Cove in Stockton.

Right now the boat launch is free of water hyacinth, but a large patch is growing just down the slough.

Fisherman Steve Simmons says there's more farther out in the Delta.

"It's starting, but it's not nearly like it was last year, last year was ugly," he says.

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Sarah Zuckerman moved to what she thought was a waterfront home in Atherton Cove last year.

"When we moved to our waterfront home, we actually moved to a hyacinth front home, and we couldn't use the water," says Zuckerman.

She says she's hoping this year will be different from last year.

This year, herbicide spraying to control the hyacinth started two weeks earlier than last year, more agencies are involved and people are asked to call when they spot it.

California Department of Boating and Waterways Director Christopher Conlin says the state is spending $4 million more this year to control the plant.

"That additional $4 million will allow us to purchase more boats, we're going to get four more boats and enough staff to man those additional four boats," says Conlin. "That is significant."

Conlin says that will mean a 60 to 70 percent increase in the boats used to control the water hyacinth.

But the weather will be the most significant factor in dealing with the water hyacinth.

Rich Ibarra

Contributing Central Valley/Foothills Reporter

As the Central Valley correspondent, Rich Ibarra covers San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties, along with the foothill areas including Tuolumne and Calaveras counties. He covers politics, the economy and issues affecting the region.   Read Full Bio